Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm NOT Doing This for ME

One of the charities I have got involved with is a service called "The Clothes Connection". It's a service provided by my kids school district P.T.A. Essentially schools through out the district collect clothes through out the year, either through drives, private donations or kids lost and found (after they have given sufficient notice to the kids to come mull through it and see it any of it is theirs.) The clothes collected are all cleaned again and put up in a store type deal. There's everything there, heavy jackets, skirts, uniforms, shoes, belts, even new undies and socks. This service is provided to any family in the district who also qualify for the free/reduced meals. All they have to do is contact the school nurse or councilor, they verify the need and send us an email stating that these people are indeed in need.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing this. I enjoy receiving all the goods that are donated, sorting and hanging. Helping fill the orders. Interacting with the other ladies that are involved in this project.
However, one of the draw backs is ...
The people who come to get the clothes.
In variably these people act like they are doing ME a favor by letting me help them.
Or they push how much of whatever they are allowed to take.
Or act irritated that we don't have what ever size of such and such.
The "Thank You for Helping Me" to "Give Me What I Deserve" ratio is at best 1 to 10.
It's very disheartening.
I tell myself that these people are possibly just ... sensitive to the fact that they are having to accept charity.
That they are embarrassed because they are having to use this service.

But something inside me has a really hard time listening to that possibility in the face of how these people act and treat the volunteers providing this service.

It's not like I want them to be all crest fallen and subjugated.
All I'm asking for is a little gratitude.
A little respect for all the hard work we are putting into the service we are providing.

1 comment:

mom said...

I know what you're talking about the couple times I helped that is the feeling that I got, that we were the ones who should be grateful to be able to serve them. What happened to humility and gratitude?